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More Kids Being Hurt by Falling Furniture
Date:5/4/2009

icy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and senior author of the study. "Forty children a day are rushed to an emergency department because a heavy piece of furniture fell on them."

About 75 percent of the injuries recorded in the study were to children 6 years of age and younger. Boys were at greater risk than girls, accounting for 56 percent of those injured. The most common type of injury was to the head and neck.

The most common culprit was a falling TV, which caused about half of the injuries.

Smith said it appears that parents either aren't hearing or aren't heeding warnings on product safety.

"This trend demonstrates the inadequacy of current prevention strategies and underscores the need for increased prevention efforts," he said.

To reduce risks, parents should put TVs on stands that are low to the ground. TVs and furniture should be attached to the wall with safety straps, L-brackets or even Velcro that can be bought at home improvement stores. If you're not sure how to do it, Smith said, ask a salesperson for help.

Purchasing furniture with wide legs or with solid bases, installing drawer stops to keep drawers in chests from pulling out all the way and placing heavy items on shelves close to the floor also help prevent tip-overs.

And don't put items tempting to kids, such as toys and remote controls, on top of furniture or the TV as young children may try to scale the furniture to retrieve them.

The long-term solution, Smith said, is passing legislation to require that TV and furniture manufacturers include safety attachments at the time of sale.

Since her son's accident, Charlene Stevenson has taken such precautions in her home. Michael, now 3, still has permanent hearing loss of 10 percent in his left ear, but has otherwise recovered.

"If I can help one child not to have a TV fall on him, I'll tell anyone who will listen," Stevenson sa
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